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IT Support is a Thankless Job

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IT Support is a Thankless Job

hhall1001
Fifteen years ago I was asked to manage IT support for an operating company within a large company. This included desk top support, help line, etc. at locations in three states. This was in addion to my "real job".

What a thankless job. PC's and associated infrastructure are like a utility in that it is expected to operate in the background and to work perfectly all the time. The only time that people contact IT support is when they have a problem. No one calls to say the system sure works good today. And when the operating company president had any problems, he called me direct to tell me about it. He of course could barely turn on his PC.

My company had transitioned to MS Office the year before so most of the calls were how do I do this or that in one of the programs. In self defense I started running lunch and learn sessions. We provided free how-to seminars once a week and I provided a box lunch for free if you attended. This had an immediate and positive impact on our work load.

The Lunch and Learns became so popular that other operating companies asked to be included. I charged the other operating companies for the priviledge and used the money to pay for the seminars and to create more seminars.

We outsourced desk top support two years later, to my personal relief. What a thankless job. My hat is off to all those that provide IT support.
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    Mr.Wiz

    comes from. I've been working in IT support for about 12 years now and I love it. The satisfaction I get is from within and knowing that I've provided a good product to the users I support. I don't need to hear the meaningless words that others want.

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    bob.ellis

    I have to agree that self-satisfaction with a job well-done is very important to some personalities and can be the attribute that keeps the job bearable. I started in IS/IT in 1968 and found, like many IS/IT managers and staff, that most feedback was negative. Further, as noted by others, a minimally error-intrusive world was expected by the customer.

    I relied on my resolution performance and knowledge set to keep me sane and positively driven. I found that each time I could resolve an issue I felt good about the job and my presence in the organization. And the occasion to resolve problems is frequent in the IS/IT support environ.

    However, I also saw the "burnout" associated with the job after 18 years in the field. The dominantly negative input often came from users that had no concept of the IS/IT world and too often was based on trivial, user-based problems. The lack of positive feedback, although not a necessity for continued high-performance, was complemented by negative feedback that wears at most persons' desires to continue supporting others.

    Are "thank you's" a necessity? To some personalities the thank you is not required but the thank you does help negate some of the negative feedback that too often comes with the IS/IT support function.

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    CaptBilly1Eye

    that I have not been 'outsourced.' :-)

    My thanks comes in the form of seeing users being able to do new things with their systems, overcoming problems, and me just plain feeling needed. (you're welcome to read my Bio).
    Hey... R U in SC? Who do you use? ;-)

    anyway... Thanks for the kind words of understanding!

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    hhall1001

    My old company outsourced IT support to IBM. I started a company three years ago and we are still small enough for everyone to do their own support.

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    CharlieSpencer

    You're supposed to think all tech support employees are darn lucky to have jobs, and that they probably spend most of their workday surfing for porn. Didn't they tell you that at the "Pointy-haired Bosses Seminar"? :-)

    It's nice to know someone in the upper echelons has an appreciation for what goes on in the trenches. Thanks for the kind words. What part of SC are you in, or what kind of barbeque do you like?

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    hhall1001

    I live in the upstate. My mailing address is Grrr, but I live in Greenville county. Little Pigs is my favorite BBQ joint in the area. It's smoked and they use a red sauce.

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    mjd420nova

    I have nurtured my users and cultivated others to help. But when the flames get too high, they call the fireman. I have a big yoyo painted on my truck, 'cause I'm always getting jerked around. Two weeks out of every 12 I get vacation. I'd go nuts if it wasn't for the woods and GPS.

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    mrwizard10

    Is like peeing in a dark pair of trousers...you get a warm feeling initially, but nobody notices...then it just is cold, wet and miserable once again.

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    Mr.Wiz

    comes from. I've been working in IT support for about 12 years now and I love it. The satisfaction I get is from within and knowing that I've provided a good product to the users I support. I don't need to hear the meaningless words that others want.

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    bob.ellis

    I have to agree that self-satisfaction with a job well-done is very important to some personalities and can be the attribute that keeps the job bearable. I started in IS/IT in 1968 and found, like many IS/IT managers and staff, that most feedback was negative. Further, as noted by others, a minimally error-intrusive world was expected by the customer.

    I relied on my resolution performance and knowledge set to keep me sane and positively driven. I found that each time I could resolve an issue I felt good about the job and my presence in the organization. And the occasion to resolve problems is frequent in the IS/IT support environ.

    However, I also saw the "burnout" associated with the job after 18 years in the field. The dominantly negative input often came from users that had no concept of the IS/IT world and too often was based on trivial, user-based problems. The lack of positive feedback, although not a necessity for continued high-performance, was complemented by negative feedback that wears at most persons' desires to continue supporting others.

    Are "thank you's" a necessity? To some personalities the thank you is not required but the thank you does help negate some of the negative feedback that too often comes with the IS/IT support function.

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    CaptBilly1Eye

    that I have not been 'outsourced.' :-)

    My thanks comes in the form of seeing users being able to do new things with their systems, overcoming problems, and me just plain feeling needed. (you're welcome to read my Bio).
    Hey... R U in SC? Who do you use? ;-)

    anyway... Thanks for the kind words of understanding!

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    hhall1001

    My old company outsourced IT support to IBM. I started a company three years ago and we are still small enough for everyone to do their own support.

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    CharlieSpencer

    You're supposed to think all tech support employees are darn lucky to have jobs, and that they probably spend most of their workday surfing for porn. Didn't they tell you that at the "Pointy-haired Bosses Seminar"? :-)

    It's nice to know someone in the upper echelons has an appreciation for what goes on in the trenches. Thanks for the kind words. What part of SC are you in, or what kind of barbeque do you like?

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    hhall1001

    I live in the upstate. My mailing address is Grrr, but I live in Greenville county. Little Pigs is my favorite BBQ joint in the area. It's smoked and they use a red sauce.

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    mjd420nova

    I have nurtured my users and cultivated others to help. But when the flames get too high, they call the fireman. I have a big yoyo painted on my truck, 'cause I'm always getting jerked around. Two weeks out of every 12 I get vacation. I'd go nuts if it wasn't for the woods and GPS.

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    mrwizard10

    Is like peeing in a dark pair of trousers...you get a warm feeling initially, but nobody notices...then it just is cold, wet and miserable once again.